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Posts from 2020-03-26

March 26th 2020, the Lost Sheep

Hello, I’m Cathy Pearce and I live and worship in the Parish of North Buckingham where I’m training for ordination. I’m very excited to be writing my first ever blog- thank you for reading it .During this time of lockdown and self isolation many of us may be feeling lonely, isolated or anxious, and this has made me think of the “Lost Sheep” When Jesus was alive he told stories known as parables, to teach people important messages about God and one such story was the Parable of the lost sheep. In the fields around the villages in North Buckingham there are many sheep and lambs in the fields at the moment, and the story Jesus told was of a farmer looking after 100 sheep. But at the end of the day this farmer could only count 99 sheep - one was missing! The farmer in the story leaves the 99 safely together and searches high and low for this lost sheep, he doesn’t stop searching until the sheep is found.Then, with joy and delight the farmer lifts the sheep onto his shoulders and carries it home. What a wonderful picture of God’s love. No one is forgotten by God, He cares for 100%, 99 out of 100 is not enough for him! So, if you are feeling isolated or anxious please know that God cares and that He loves YOU. It has been said that “ to hear the whisper of God you must turn down the volume of the world.” (N. McGuirk) Our world has had to become quieter and less busy, so let us use this time to talk to God in prayer and share with him our feelings and worries. For, through Jesus we will “find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) You can read the parable of the lost sheep in Luke, chapter 15, verses 3-7

Starting a Blog

If this works it will be the first time I have ever blogged. I sit in my office, in splendid isolation, No, I don't have a temperature, it's just that no-one could live with the mess in my office. I look out of the window at the cherry tree about to burst into blossom.

And that's what its all about: can you find a new life when you are stuck at home? Since this is a blog on a church website you will know of course that the answer is yes, but you will be wondering how I will get there: I'm wondering the same thing.

Our created world is always changing, births and deaths are an essential part of it, from the beginning with the birth and death of stars, to our own birth and death. How can being stuck at home be a birth? It's about the new things you take on, and since it's Lent one of the new things you can take on is reading a Lent book. This year our parish is reading At the Cross - Big deals outside the city by John Benton.

This book is a very clear telling of the fundamental belief of the Church of England that we our saved by our faith. The chapter headings give some idea about the book: Faith alone - reson for joy!; Penal substitution - how we can be forgiven and forgive; Justification - right with God; Imputed righteousness - a legal fiction? Christ's obedience - all that God requires; Sanctification - shall we go on sinning?

Of course this book might not give you a new life, you might already have understood its message, or you might read it but ignore its arguments; but for some of us it has the power to let us start afresh, to become new people, to understand that what we need is faith and nothing more.

But from that faith comes a wish to follow in Christ's footsteps, to serve our neighbour, and nothing is more needed than doing this today if your neighbour is elderly or otherwise in isolation. A chat on the telephone or Facetime with your tablet can help anyone who is feeling depressed because of their isolation. Give yourself a new life and your neighbour as well.

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